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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 52: Pregnancy Series, My Fourth

This pregnancy was good.  I was not as active.  We lived in a different part of Florida in a house we'd bought a mortgage for.  I got preggie almost immediately after we moved in.  I think I had my first miscarriage, but it was so soon after conception that I don't "officially" count it because I couldn't have gotten a positive on the pregnancy test at that point.  So, that was my first 'slip'.
I didn't really get out to walk.  And didn't get very active.  I probably ate too much chocolate and other sweets.  I'd done that with the other children, too... to some extent.  But this time, for whatever reason, I gained weight like crazy.  40 pounds, to be exact.  Because of that, and a couple other details, I just knew I was preggie with a boy.  I didn't tell Jessie because I didn't want him to be totally let down if I was wrong.  I knew for sure I was right when Karen (our midwife again) told me to let Daddy check for parts.  Jessie cried like a baby again when he realized he had a boy.
For the full story (a three part series in itself, check it out HERE).
I readily remember that when Karen, our midwife, arrived, I was 7cm dilated.  I was very happy to hear that.  Everyone was sure our baby would be born very quickly.  He was not.
It took about 21.5 hours for him to make his entrance into the world.  He was also very high... not engaged the way Karen wanted him to be.  But I still pushed him out quickly.
In only two pushes, to be exact!  My fastest to that point.  He was a blue-chord-around-the-neck-baby, but not as limp as Kat when she was born.  Karen put oxygen in front of his nose and he pinked right up.
Once again, I felt the same miraculous heart expansion and capacity-to-love-growth that happens at each birth.  It is just amazing!  Jmy was another 10 pound 4 ounce baby!  He was NOT as fluffy as Tea, though.  He was just solid.  And has remained solid ever since (now five years old!).
Jmy was born in Mama and Daddy's bedroom, on our Kingsdown bed that I bought for $800 from a lady who had horrible allergies in Virginia, in Daddy's "castle" house in Florida.  I remember lying down diagonally and Karen, being sorta wedged in between the wall and me on the bed.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 51: Pregnancy Series, My Third

This time around, I held my tummy in and tooks walks with my older two almost every day.  I was determined that I would not have the difficulty pushing that I had with Kat's delivery.  Thankfully I did what needed to be done and it was much better when it came to pushing.
This pregnancy was my first in Florida.  It was easier for me to get out of the house because of where we lived.  I took Ria to ballet (with Kat along, of course).  Kat would watch and wish to join in... she did most of the exercises in the waiting room, at the door, while watching Ria.  I also took the girls to story time regularly.  I also met with a dear friend of mine pretty regularly to hang out because her Victoria is the same age as mine.
Karen was my midwife.  She was quite good and good for me.
When I was 2 weeks "overdue," Karen was worried and I suggested homeopathics.  She gave them to me and I started them.  Immediately went into labor.  Labor lasted 3 long, painful days.  It was not pleasant.  I should've trusted my body and baby more.
Finally at 10cm dilated and able to push.  I think she was worried because Tea was not engaged as much as she expected or wanted to see.  She gave me the go-ahead to push and I did.  Within five minutes Tea was born.  Holding my tummy in and walking had definitely made a difference!
Again, we didn't know what we were having.  I was pretty sure she was a girl because, again, I'd dropped 7 pounds during the pregnancy.  I was just as happy to see that I was right as I was with each other birth (when I'd been wrong).  
Tea was perfect.  Crazy-full head of black hair that looked almost like a wig on my first ten pound four ounce baby.  She was short, too... so she had ROLLS!  Absolutely adorable rolls!  Her cheeks were so chubbs that when she was laid on her side, the cheek that was up in the air drooped over her mouth!  She definitely had Micheline Man arms and legs from birth! When she was born we needed to stimulate her a little bit, Karen held the oxygen close to her, but she definitely was not blue or limp.
Tea was born in our living room, on our brown couch which was given to us by my friend Heather in Florida.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Birth of our GrA boy

The super quick synopsis if you're really not super interested follows.

Active labor: 4-4.5 hours

Transfer: to hospital somewhere around midnight

GrA born: 2:23am by c-section

I was in a room with him less than an hour after he was taken out.

About 5 hours later, I was rolled away for emergency surgery.

In ICU for just over 24 hours.

Back home my mid-day Sunday, April 3rd.

Staples out, Friday, April 8th.

Gardening by Thursday, April 25th.

If you want more details, click HERE for *the rest of the story*.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 50: Pregnancy Series, My Second

I was no longer working as a teacher during this pregnancy.  I was way more sedentary.  I did not hold my tummy in really at all.  I still dropped 7 pounds during the pregnancy, but it definitely was not really apparent.
Kristi was my midwife.  She was, technically, not able to be fully legal yet in Virginia.  So, although she did attend my birth, we did not attach her name to the paperwork for a birth certificate.  That complicated the process of getting Kat's birth certificate.
My pregnancy with Kat went well.  I was tired and lonely a lot... not entirely used to being a Mama to one and worried about how I would add another.  Worried about whether I could love a second as much as the first... silly things like that.  I was probably still experiencing some aspects of the post-partum depression I had after Ria's birth.
I was two weeks "over due" with Kat when Kristi asked if I would be willing to use homeopathic remedies to try to get labor started.  I was willing because I could tell she was very concerned.
The homeopathic remedies did start labor, but it was a long and drawn out labor because it was not natural.  It was more natural and tolerable than Pitocin, but still not my body's starting the process itself... or the baby starting it... or the both of them working together.  It was unnatural.  I wish I'd been more courageous and trusted my body and my baby more.
I was in labor for 2 days to give birth to Kat.
Pushing took a long time this go-round.  I'm sure that's because my abdominal muscles were really unfit.  I may have pushed as long as 40 minutes.  I can't remember for sure.  Compared to the 11 minutes with Ria (which includes the time it took me to move from the floor to the bed), the time it took to push Kat out was long and arduous.
When she was born, we did not know what we were having.  We thought we wanted a boy.  I saw that we had another girl and I was ecstatic!  I couldn't have been happier with our second adorable black-haired, 9 pound 8 ounce baby girl!  She was born a blue baby and very limp because her cord was partially prolapsed when she began crowning and it was wrapped around her neck a couple times.  Her unresponsiveness was worrisome. Kristi pushed the cord back where it should've been before I finished pushing Kat out.  One baby was out, Kristi described how and I performed the kiss of life.  I breathed life into Kat.  She pinked up very well after that.
I learned very quickly (immediately?) that each child grows its parents hearts... it's as if, immediately upon birth, my heart is so much bigger that I have exactly as much love for the second as I had for the first.  It's amazing!
Kat was born in our living room, right in front of our couch, in our little trailer in a trailer park Virginia.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 49: Pregnancy Series, My First

I was working as a teacher.  My first year in that job.  I was worried what my peers and boss would think of me being preggie, so I held my tummy in all the time.  I was a size 18 when I began my Ria pregnancy.  I dropped 7 pounds during the pregnancy.  I did need to wear maternity shirts and pants by the end, but not by much.
This pregnancy was wonderful.  I felt so pretty and happy.  It was really wonderful. Except for the stress of my work.  That was pretty rough.
And then there was the ultrasound.  It suggested that our baby's heart might be turned wrong and other parts of her underdeveloped.  We "had to" have another ultrasound.  We were trying to get accepted into a midwife attended and run birthing clinic in the hospital.  We were not accepted.  Not because of the heart thing, that turned out to be nothing.  There was no problem.  There was no problem with her at all.
Probably good that we weren't.  Laurie MacPherson-Smith was our midwife - upon recommendation from Claudia Shafer, our birth-class instructor.  She was good.  Not as good as I would wish... apparently she'd had too many babies born in a certain way... so when it looked like Ria might be born in that way, she had me change my position which was more painful than anything prior to it... and I had a very painful labor to birth Ria.
Jessie didn't review the birth class information.  He didn't do what he was supposed to do to help me.  I felt very much on my own... because I had a wrong expectation that my husband would do certain things.  He could've, but it didn't happen that way.
Neither of us had any way of knowing how completely and utterly I would "lose" my ability to stand up for myself whilst in labor.  It's amazing how different... how much sweeter I am in labor than any other time in my life... how much weaker and unable to speak for myself.  At least, that's how I was for the first five.  I hope I will be differnt for the next since I've been doing SO much work to become a new woman in ways imperceptible to most folks.
Jessie was present for much of the labor and for the birth.  He did the best he could under the circumstances.
The day before Ria was born, we had a visit with our midwife.  She swiped my cirvix.  She did not discuss that with me before she did it.  If she said anything about it, she didn't help me understand it fully.  As a result, she broke my waters.  I know she did, but Ria's head blocked them from coming out until much later.
I went home and promptly worked my butt off.  That last shot of energy was spent on cleaning.  I didn't realize fully that I was in labor.  I hoped so, but didn't know KNOW know.
She felt like she had to do something because I was, according to the way of figuring out when a baby is "due," nine days "late."  It still upsets me that she started my labor in that way.  It's because of this unnatural start that I ended up in so much pain at the very end.
When I laid down to sleep around midnight, waters came gushing out.  The contractions became horribly painful immediately thereafter.  I'm pretty sure I mistook Ria moving after contractions for contractions.  It was all a ball of pain to my mind.
I was probably way more dilated at home, but the drive to the hospital, though short, was excruciatingly painful.  When they checked me there, I was only 3cm.  I was so upset.  I tried all kinds of things: bouncy ball, walking (though not much), kneeling, showering.  It was all just horribly painful.  I was fearful.
A little bit before 1pm (I think), I was ready to push.  My midwife told me to squat down and push with the next contraction, while holding on to some handles under the bed.  I did.  Apparently, Ria crowned with that one push. Pushing was blissfully wonderful.  It was a relief and a release from the torturous pain of the laboring process.  Because of the crowning, Laurie told me to get up on the bed.  This is the moment that I needed my Mom or Jessie to step in and tell them that I would NOT move, that I was good where I was, and the baby would be born right there.  Neither of them did so.  
That move was horribly painful.  Probably more painful than anything before it.
I labored for 22.5 hours to give birth to Ria.
After moving onto the bed and getting into position there, I pushed another two or three times and had Ria out.  I was extatic.  It was glorious to hold my baby.  I'd previously thought I wanted a boy.  I looked.  I had a girl and could not have been happier to have her!
Our sweet, black-haired 8 pound 4 ounce baby girl!  She didn't cry when she was born.  The nurse tried to rub her into crying.  But I wouldn't let her.  I knew Ria was fine.  I knew she didn't need to cry.
She had such a very serious expression on her face from the start.  She didn't smile at me until she was nearly 3 months old... even though she smiled at her Daddy and her Mimi!
Ria was born in a hospital in Virginia.

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